Safeway Open 2017
October 8, 2017
Brendan Steele is getting accustomed to fast starts and he likes it.
Steele won the PGA Tour's season-opening Safeway Open for the second straight year, closing with a 3-under 69 in windy conditions Sunday for a two-stroke victory over Tony Finau.
''I'm getting pretty spoiled winning the first event of the year twice,'' said Steele, the 34-year-old from the Southern California mountain town of Idyllwild. ''This place is so great to me. I feel so comfortable here and it's been a great run.''
Phil Mickelson and Chesson Hadley finished three shots behind.
Steele finished at 14-under 273 for his third PGA Tour title. He's 33 under in his past eight rounds at the event. Steele also won the 2011 Valero Texas Open.
Two strokes behind surprising leader Tyler Duncan entering the day at Silverado Resort and Spa, Steele birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes - holing a 3-footer on 18.
''The greens were firming up in the afternoon,'' Steele said. ''I knew the weather was going to be windy and it seems Sunday is always the hardest day on the PGA Tour for whatever reason. That was about as hard as it can play out there.''
Finau, whose lone PGA Tour victory came in the 2016 Puerto Rico Open, moved into a tie for the lead with Steele at 14 under with a birdie on the par-4 13th. But he double-bogeyed the par-4 14th. After pars on 16 and 17, Finau had a 40-foot eagle putt on the 18th and settled for birdie and a 69.
''I was happy the way I hung in there; I didn't hot a lot of quality shots off the tee coming in like I needed to,'' Finau said. ''But I put myself in a situation where a playoff or a win with that eagle putt. It was still pretty cool.''
Mickelson, who began the round four shots off the lead, birdied the 16th from 10 feet to move within one shot of Steele. But Mickelson, winless since the 2013 British Open, bogeyed the 17th before birdieing the 18th for a 70.
''Unfortunately, on the front nine I made a couple of bogeys and made the turn at 1 over,'' Mickelson said. ''But on the back nine, I played some good solid golf and made a late move.''
It was the 47-year-old Mickelson's 27th third-place finish in 27 PGA Tour seasons to along with 42 career wins and 34 runner-up finishes.
''It's just keep playing to keep giving myself chances,'' Mickelson said about his winless PGA Tour streak of 91 tournaments. ''It will happen.''
Hadley finished with a 73. He had a course-record 61 in the second round,
Duncan, a PGA Tour rookie who began the round with a one-stroke lead over Hadley, had five bogeys on the front nine and finished with a 75 to tie for fifth with Graham DeLaet at 11 under. DeLaet had a 72.
Andrew Landry (69) and Bud Cauley (74) tied for seventh at 10 under.
John Daly, the two-time major winner who won his first PGA Tour Champions title in May, closed with a 79 to tie for 72nd at 5 over.
October 8, 2017
Tyler Duncan may not sleep well and he'll likely be nervous. But it's understandable for the PGA Tour rookie and unlikely leader after three rounds of the Safeway Open.
Playing is his first tournament as a PGA Tour member, Duncan parred the 18th hole and scrambled to a 1-under 71 to maintain a one-stroke lead Saturday in the season-opening event.
''I feel OK now, but I'm not sure it's sunk in yet,'' said Duncan, whose only previous PGA Tour event was the 2015 U.S. Open as a sectional qualifier. ''But it probably will after dinner when I'm laying in bed. I'm sure I'll be nervous tomorrow, but I am looking forward to it.''
Duncan had five birdies and four bogeys to reach 14-under 202 at Silverado Resort and Spa. He hit his tee shot in the water on the par-3 15th hole en route to a bogey.
''The shot on 15 was probably the worst shot I've hit in a long time,'' Duncan said. ''But I made a nice bogey and then made a nice par save on 18.''
Chesson Hadley, a one-time PGA Tour winner who had a course-record 61 in the second round, was a stroke back after a 70.
''I was very pleased with my round,'' Hadley said. ''I thought the course was playing very difficult and I didn't get off to a very good start. I was two over through four or five holes. But I hung in there and didn't panic.''
Bud Cauley, winless in five PGA Tour seasons, shot a 66 to join defending champion Brendan Steele (72) at 12 under. Emiliano Grillo, the 2015 tournament winner in his first start as a member of the PGA Tour, shot 68 to match Graham DeLaet (69) at 11 under.
Phil Mickelson, seven shots behind Duncan entering the round after consecutive 69s, had a 68 to join Bill Haas (69), Tony Finau (71) and Andrew Putnam (69) at 10 under.
Mickelson has seven consecutive rounds in the 60s in the event. He finished eighth last year and is seeking is first title since the 2013 British Open.
''Well, I am going to win, It's a matter of time,'' Mickelson said. ''I don't know if it's tomorrow. I don't know if it's in China, but it's going to happen. It's going to happen soon because I'm starting to play well enough to do it.''
After a bogey on the second hole, the 47-year-old Mickelson birdied five of his last six holes on the front nine to move to 11 under and within two shots of the lead.
But Mickelson, playing in his 91st PGA Tour event since his last victory, missed a short putt for birdie on the 16th and short putt for par on the 17th. He made a short birdie putt on the 18th.
October 7, 2017
Tyler Duncan chipped in from the fringe for eagle on the par-5 18th hole Friday to take the second-round lead in the season-opening Safeway Open.
Making his second career PGA Tour start, Duncan shot a 6-under 66 for a one-stroke lead over defending champion Brendan Steele at Silverado Resort and Spa.
Duncan, the Web.com Tour graduate who shared the first-round lead with Steele and Tom Hoge, also had seven birdies and three bogeys to reach 13-under 131.
''It's crazy, it's nothing I could have ever dreamed of,'' said Duncan, whose only other PGA Tour event was as a regional qualifier in the 2015 U.S. Open. ''I don't think it's sunk in yet, to be honest. It's something I've dreamed about for a long time. I'm just happy to be playing here and to be in the lead is something special.''
Steele had six birdies and a bogey in a 67. He's 30 under is his past six rounds in the event.
''It was really a solid day, very similar to yesterday,'' Steele said. ''I hit a lot of good shots, rolled and a lot of good putts and was able to watch Chesson go crazy.''
Chesson Hadley, who began the second round seven shots behind the leaders, broke the course record with a career-best 61 to get within two strokes. He parred the final two holes.
''It's just one of those days everything was going my way,'' said Hadley, the 2014 Puerto Rico Open winner who regained his tour card through the Web.com Tour. ''I was hitting great shots, good putts and got some good breaks. When you get that of momentum, things just go your way.
He had an eagle, 10 birdies and a bogey. His previous career best was a 64 in the opening round of the 2015 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Zac Blair (66) and Tony Finau (65) were 9 under, and Graham DeLaet (67) and Brian Davis (66) were another stroke back.
''I just had a lot of good looks,'' said Blair, who doesn't have a bogey through 36 holes. ''I made 17 greens out there, left myself in some good spots, made a few of them and it was just kind of easy out there.''
Emiliano Grillo, who won the event two years ago, was 7 under after a 70
Phil Mickelson, seeking his first win in since 2013, shot his second 69 to reach 6 under.
''I expected to score a little bit better today, but I had some good chances today,'' said Mickelson, who had six birdies, one bogey and a double bogey. ''I drove it a lot better, I hit quite a few more fairways and gave myself some good birdie chances. But I let a few opportunities slide.''
Mickelson, playing in his 91st PGA Tour event since his last win, finished eighth in the tournament last year and has six straight rounds in the 60s at Silverado.
''A low round is out there,'' said Mickelson, who birdied three straight holes after double-bogeying the 14th - his fifth hole of the day. ''I feel like I'm getting close to it.''
John Daly, the two-time major winner who in May won his first PGA Tour Champions title and is playing via a sponsor exemption, birdied the 18th for second-round 69 to make the 1-under cut at 143. Daly had missed the cuts in his past 12 PGA Tour events.
October 6, 2017
Brendan Steele opened his Safeway Open title defense Thursday with a 7-under 65 for a share of the lead with Tyler Duncan and Tom Hoge in the PGA Tour's season opener.
Lucas Glover, Chez Reavie, Emiliano Grillo and Jamie Lovemark were two shots back at 67.
Steele had an eagle, six birdies and a bogey. Last year at Silverado, he birdied the final three holes to overcome a four-shot deficit and beat Patton Kizzire by a stroke for his second PGA Tour title.
''A little bit of everything worked for me today,'' Steele said. ''I had a really good ball-striking day. I don't think I missed a green, so that really helps. And then I had a good putting day as well, so you put that together and it's going to be pretty good.
Duncan, making his first start as a PGA Tour member, also had six birdies, an eagle and a bogey.
''I thought the course would fit my game because hitting the fairways is important,'' said Duncan, whose only other PGA Tour event was the 2015 U.S. Open. ''There are a lot of sections in the greens that you've got to hit into and to hit it into those sections from the rough is pretty challenging.''
Hoge, beginning his fourth PGA Tour season, had seven birdies. He had a back-nine 30 with six birdies.
''I played really well the whole day,'' said Hoge, whose PGA Tour career best is a tie for fourth in August at the Barracuda Open. ''I was in a lot of fairways, on a lot of greens and the made a few putts.''
Steele didn't miss a green in regulation.
''The greens are not holding very well, you have to be in the fairway,'' Steele said. ''I think this is the way that it's meant to be played. It plays really nicely this way.''
Zach Johnson, the 12-time PGA Tour winner playing the event for the first time, had a 68 with five birdies and a bogey.
''I love it. I liked to the moment I stepped foot on it,'' said Johnson, whose last title was the 2015 British Open. ''You can't fake it around here. It's right out in front of you. There are a couple of tee shots and a couple of approaches where you have to pay attention. It's a very classic golf course.''
Phil Mickelson, the 42-time PGA Tour winner beginning his 27th PGA Tour season, birdied the 18th from 7 feet for a 69. The 47-year-old Mickelson, playing in his 91st PGA Tour event since his last title at the 2013 British Open, had five birdies and two bogeys.
Sang-moon Bae, the 2014 tournament winner, shot 73. He's playing in his first tournament since a mandatory 21-month military stint in South Korea.
John Daly, the two-time major winner who won the PGA Tour Champions' Insperity Invitational in May, had a 74. Daly has missed the cut in 12 straight PGA Tour events.
|T9||RSA||Tyrone van Aswegen||-9||-||71||67||72||69||279|
|T28||USA||Ted Potter Jr.||-6||-||72||71||65||74||282|
|T52||USA||Maverick McNealy (a)||-2||-||68||71||73||74||286|
|T59||USA||Harold Varner III||Par||-||69||68||70||81||288|
|CUT||USA||D. A. Points||Par||-||73||71||-||-||144|
|CUT||USA||J. J. Spaun||Par||-||71||73||-||-||144|
|CUT||KOR||K. J. Choi||Par||-||74||70||-||-||144|
|CUT||USA||Billy Hurley III||3||-||75||72||-||-||147|
|CUT||ZIM||Brendon de Jonge||4||-||76||72||-||-||148|